Welcome to COBOL.NET, corner of the C# Corner

We're glad you're here! COBOL has been playing a major role in just about every large company in the United States and the World since 1959 when it was first introduced. Yes it's been around a long time and has gone through many changes in the past 40+ years and we want to show you the latest evolution of COBOL!

This column will hopefully help those of you looking to use Fujitsu NetCOBOL for .NET. We are going to present some "How To" articles beginning with the basic information about the environment, the interaction with Visual Studio.NET, the Designers and the COBOL language. A series of articles is planned but we realize we probably won't answer everyone's questions so we would like to ask for your help. We would also like to ask you to submit questions as well. If you have a question about NetCOBOL for .NET and how to use it or perform a specific task in Visual Studio.NET please ask. We will make every effort to answer your questions as soon as possible.

History Lesson!

Since this is the first article in the series I thought it would be a good idea to begin with a little bit of history about NetCOBOL for .NET and Fujitsu Software in general. Fujitsu Software is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited based in Japan. Fujitsu Limited was founded in 1935 and with overall revenues in excess of $37Billion (FY2001 ending May 2002) Fujitsu Limited is one of the largest companies in Japan and the third largest IT company in the world! Its products are well known in Japan for their high degree of quality of usability.

Fujitsu Software has been building COBOL compilers for over 30 years. Beginning with a mainframe compiler on the Amdahl mainframe and then the PC compiler, Fujitsu Software has always stressed adherence to the ANSI standard. Fujitsu NetCOBOL for .NET is a COBOL compiler created specifically for Microsoft's .Net Framework.

This means that it:

  • Produces Microsoft's Intermediate Language (MSIL) that executes under the Common Language Runtime (CLR). This language-neutral, platform independent environment enables COBOL code to be mixed with any other .NET-supporting language (such as C# and VB .NET) on any .NET-supporting platform.

  • Adapts OO COBOL syntax, and supports .NET-specific extensions, so that COBOL programs can be written to take full advantage of the .NET Framework classes.

  • Enables COBOL as an ASP.NET scripting language.

  • Integrates with Visual Studio .NET so that COBOL applications can be developed using this award winning development environment.

These features allow you to bring COBOL fully into the world of Internet applications including XML Web services and ASP.NET pages, and to integrate that code with code written in other languages. The .NET Framework gives access to the latest technology and NetCOBOL for .NET ensures this is immediately available to COBOL programmers. COBOL-85 code can also be compiled and run as-is in the .NET environment so that you can leverage your current COBOL assets.

We invite you to visit the Fujitsu website for NetCOBOL for .NET at http://www.adtools.com/products/windows/netcobol.html for more information about the NetCOBOL product.

Next Weeks article

Object orientation obviously plays a major role in the .NET environment. While your current procedural based COBOL programs will compile and execute in the .NET environment, migrating them to an OO-based format will extend their usability and accessibility. Next weeks article will review how to migrate your existing procedural based COBOL programs to an Object Oriented state.

Have a good week!